The Spruce Hill Lutheran Church began as a log structure built in 1881. It had seats of wooden planks set on stumps, its pulpit an upright log. The need for a larger church became evident and the present building was completed in 1902. In 1913 a long horse barn was added to shelter the congregants’ horses during worship services. This large group photo is from the 75th anniversary celebration.
Membership dwindled through the years, and in 1967 the congregation merged with First Lutheran to become Faith Lutheran in nearby Miltona, Minnesota. In 1994, the Spruce Hill Church building was deeded to the Douglas County Historical Society, which is now in charge of its operation.
Traditional Easter and Christmas services, and a mid-summer hymn fest are held each year. The Spruce Hill church is available for funerals, weddings and other events approved by the Board of Directors. Bequests from estates of Emil Warberg, Esther Rosell, Lloyd and Esther Engstrand, and donations from various sources provide the funds for its upkeep.
Send any requests or correspondence regarding Spruce Hill Church to the Douglas County Historical Society, (320) 762-0382 or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: 13148 Spruce Hill Park Rd NE, Alexandria, Minnesota 56319
Mailing address: Douglas County Historical Society, 1219 Nokomis Street, Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
The location of the Spruce Hill Church and Cemetery are shown on this map.
The altar is typical of Scandinavian Lutheran churches of that era.
The altar painting by Johan Olof Grafström (1855-1933) depicts Jesus as a shepherd. Grafström painted about 200 altar paintings for Lutheran churches in America. Grafström was a professor at Augustana at the height of his career. To find out more about his life as an artist, click HERE.
Church member, local farmer and Swedish immigrant Pehr Christianson carved the detailed pulpit in the Spruce Hill Church. To learn more about Pehr, click HERE.
Many immigrant households had only the Bible to read in their native language, in this case Swedish.
Each panel of the hand carved pulpit illustrates a different bible story. This carving of Jesus driving the merchants and moneychangers out of the temple shows the elaborate details of the carvings. Translation from Swedish: (John 2:16) And to those who sold the doves he said: Take these things away from here! Do not make my Father’s house a marketplace!